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Old 06-19-2013, 02:52 PM  
Cave Johnson Cave Johnson is offline
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Surprise, IRS Also Targeted Liberal Groups

Obama can't even do 1-sided political intimidation right....

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The conventional shorthand for the IRS scandal is that employees "targeted" conservative groups for extra scrutiny in the applications for tax-exempt status. Except, as an inspector general's report showed, it wasn't just conservative groups that got extra scrutiny. Plenty of liberal groups had to produce extensive documentation answer dozens of questions, too.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news. We have a more complicated view this morning of the scandal at the IRS. An inspector general critiqued the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups - many of them linked with the Tea Party movement. We knew that much. And now it's become apparent that more liberal or progressive groups were also targeted.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Maryann Martindale applied for tax exempt status for her group, the Alliance for a Better Utah, in September of 2011. When she heard back from the IRS, the agency asked her about her group's activities and donors.

MARYANN MARTINDALE: We were asked what type of donors we had. If we had candidates, political organizations, parties and such, any of that type of group, anything like that, if we'd any donors that fit under any of those categories. We didn't.

KEITH: In many ways Martindale's experience sounds like that of the Tea Party groups flagged for extra scrutiny by the IRS. One big difference - her group's progressive leanings.

MARTINDALE: We don't affiliate directly with either party, but I would say that in terms of position or ideology, we would align closer with the Democrats.

KEITH: Alliance for A Better Utah secured its tax exempt status as a 501(c)(4) social welfare group in June 2012. The group also applied for a 501(c)(3) charitable status for its voter education work. Both groups can keep their donor names secret, but only the (c)(3) can offer them a tax deduction. And Martindale says she's still waiting on that.

MARTINDALE: As it's approaching 600 days, we bend over backwards to prove that we really are not doing anything beyond reproach of a (c)(3) organization but yet we still are waiting for that designation. It's really tough. Let me just put it that way. It's just - it's really tough.

KEITH: And while she waits, Martindale says her group has suffered, missing out on donations and grants.

PAT ZAHAROPOULOS: I'm Pat Zaharopoulos. I'm president of Middle Class Taxpayers Association of San Diego.

KEITH: And her group was also flagged by the IRS. It's on a list of 176 organizations the IRS says were pulled aside for further review and ultimately granted nonprofit status. Middle Class Taxpayers Association of San Diego is progressive and takes positions on issues and initiatives but not candidates.

ZAHAROPOULOS: We got - our final approval came May 9 of this year and we applied July 9, 2010.

KEITH: When they finally got the letter from the IRS, Zaharopoulos says they celebrated. It had been almost three years of waiting and answering questions from the IRS.

ZAHAROPOULOS: While we were impatient about it, we were certainly not offended that they took the time to evaluate.

KEITH: These groups are part of what Martin Sullivan describes as a substantial minority of those on the IRS list. He's chief economist at Tax Analysts.

MARTIN SULLIVAN: And if you look down the list, you can eyeball it and readily see that many certainly were conservative groups and you could also see that many weren't. And so I just started doing web searches on each of these groups.

KEITH: The list released by the IRS offers an incomplete view. It doesn't tell us how many of the groups that applied for tax-exempt status were conservative or liberal. It doesn't tell us how long each group waited. And it also doesn't tell us why they were flagged for further scrutiny. What the Inspector General's report shows is that Tea Party and Patriot groups were targeted based on their names or their views, and that, virtually everyone agrees, was improper. Again, Sullivan.

SULLIVAN: There still can be bias, there still can be other types of problems with what the IRS has done, but the one fact that's brought is that about 30 percent were not conservative groups and therefore it was not only conservative groups who were being targeted.

KEITH: Sean Soendker Nicholson knows that firsthand. He's the executive director of Progress Missouri and waited about a year before getting a letter from the IRS asking a series of questions.

SEAN SOENDKER NICHOLSON: Please provide a more detailed description of the actual activities you have conducted since your formation as well as activities you plan to conduct within the next year and how these activities serve social welfare purposes.

KEITH: Shortly after responding, Progress Missouri was approved. And as he sees it, the scrutiny was a good thing. He just hopes it wasn't only small groups like his who were getting all the attention, since some 501(c)(4)s spent tens of millions of dollars in the last election.

TARA MALLOY: The methodology that the IRS used was clearly unjustifiable.

KEITH: Tara Malloy is a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center, which is pushing for the IRS to scrutinize 501(c)(4) groups. She says the fact that progressive groups were also screened doesn't excuse the way the agency went about flagging Tea Party groups. But Malloy says the IRS should be examining organizations with political activity.

MALLOY: It makes perfect sense that the IRS has an obligation to determine that you actually are eligible for this exemption from taxation and that it's a meaningful review, not just a rubber stamp.

KEITH: Her concern is that all the blowback from inappropriately targeting conservative groups will make the IRS back down from the reviews it really should be doing.
http://www.wbur.org/npr/193383914/li...s-scrutiny-too
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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It would not surprise me that some liberal groups are on Obama's hit list, how else can he keep them in line?
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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Were people saying it was 100% conservative groups being targeted?
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:41 PM   #4
Cave Johnson Cave Johnson is offline
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
Were people saying it was 100% conservative groups being targeted?
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=272937
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cave Johnson View Post
I checked the first few posts and didn't see anyone say that. Maybe you can tell me which posters said they thought it was 100% conservative groups that got special attention.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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The conventional shorthand for the IRS scandal is that employees "targeted" conservative groups for extra scrutiny in the applications for tax-exempt status. Except, as an inspector general's report showed, it wasn't just conservative groups that got extra scrutiny. Plenty of liberal groups had to produce extensive documentation answer dozens of questions, too.

Of course; I assume ANYONE who applied for tax exempt status had to provide documentation...part of the process I would think.

The IRS admitted it scrutinized conservative groups; not sure why this is still being debated but liberals seem to go to extremes to defend any portion of this administration.
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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SULLIVAN: There still can be bias, there still can be other types of problems with what the IRS has done, but the one fact that's brought is that about 30 percent were not conservative groups and therefore it was not only conservative groups who were being targeted.


So it's OK for our federal government to harass and impede political groups that may go against the leanings of the current administration as long as they only do it 70% of the time? Smells like bullshit to me.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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I wonder what the breakdown of these organizations is between ideologies across the board.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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This is nothing but a completely bullshit post.

They talk about a list of all groups that were asked to supply extra information. Some were liberal. It doesn't say they were flagged because of the name of the group, or because they were liberal. They probably just didn't supply some needed info or some other reason. It never says that liberal groups were singled out because of their politics.

Only the Tea Party groups or other conservative groups were harassed because of their group names or politics:


"KEITH: The list released by the IRS offers an incomplete view. It doesn't tell us how many of the groups that applied for tax-exempt status were conservative or liberal. It doesn't tell us how long each group waited. And it also doesn't tell us why they were flagged for further scrutiny. What the Inspector General's report shows is that Tea Party and Patriot groups were targeted based on their names or their views, and that, virtually everyone agrees, was improper."



The ass who posted bullshit from an obviously slanted source (some ****ing Boston NPR radio station, for crying out loud) should have his thread starting privileges rescinded for being a retard.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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I really don't want to reignite this debate, but earlier on I never indicated that I have personal experience founding and filing as a tax exempt organization. We were always prepared to have supporting documentation for the requirements. When I read what additional information was requested, it wasn't out of line with what we expected years ago.

I still think its completely wrong to target folks on a political basis. My organization was something we definitely thought had potential to receive extra scrutiny and took steps to make sure our shit was sorted well in advance.

The people that singled out conservative organizations ought to be delt with accordingly, but if you're setting up any kind of tax exempt group and don't at least anticipate something like an audit before you're approved or in your first couple years then you're incredibly naive.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNull View Post
I really don't want to reignite this debate, but earlier on I never indicated that I have personal experience founding and filing as a tax exempt organization. We were always prepared to have supporting documentation for the requirements. When I read what additional information was requested, it wasn't out of line with what we expected years ago.

I still think its completely wrong to target folks on a political basis. My organization was something we definitely thought had potential to receive extra scrutiny and took steps to make sure our shit was sorted well in advance.

The people that singled out conservative organizations ought to be delt with accordingly, but if you're setting up any kind of tax exempt group and don't at least anticipate something like an audit before you're approved or in your first couple years then you're incredibly naive.

Sure. You are setting up an organization that gets a special status. It's reasonable that you be required to show appropriate documentation. That's not what happened here. The federal government, using the power of the IRS, harassed and impeded a group of citizens while attempting to engage in legal activity, because they had political views that were contrary to the present administration. There really is no way to spin that. It's an abuse of power.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
Sure. You are setting up an organization that gets a special status. It's reasonable that you be required to show appropriate documentation. That's not what happened here. The federal government, using the power of the IRS, harassed and impeded a group of citizens while attempting to engage in legal activity, because they had political views that were contrary to the present administration. There really is no way to spin that. It's an abuse of power.
Has that bolded part been proven???
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #13
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There really is no way to spin that. It's an abuse of power.
We are not in disagreement on this point.

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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
The federal government, using the power of the IRS, harassed and impeded a group of citizens while attempting to engage in legal activity, because they had political views that were contrary to the present administration.
There is no disagreement here either. I really haven't seen enough from primary sources that what was asked (when put into context with what was in their paperwork they filed) was something that I could conclude was harassment. Still though...I agree with your thesis.

Quote:
Sure. You are setting up an organization that gets a special status. It's reasonable that you be required to show appropriate documentation.
Once again...no disagreement.

The difference perhaps lies in the expectation that if you aren't the American Cancer Society or the Catholic Church that you expect to have to back up with documentation everything you tell the IRS about your group at any time.

Do you call yourself a tax exempt "book group?" Get ready to be asked to at least articulate the books that your group reads and talks about because it proves that you are a book group. If you're denied status because of your response then there's a clear and undeniable problem. If the standard is showing you know names of books, it's not really that big of a deal.

None of us have seen a full record of the original filings, requests from the IRS and responses from each organization. I think that staunch partisans on either side could agree that transparency at this kind of level is at least a good idea.

I'm happy to be outraged. I'm already outraged about other issues. The Verizon order is outrageous, offensive to the Fourth Amendment and is exactly the kind of governmental activity that was feared, though not yet specifically envisioned, by the framers of the Bill of Rights.

I'm not sure if I should be pissed about the fact that statistically it was easier to get approval as an obviously liberal organization or that any individual organization was given inappropriate scrutiny based on their own assertions about their own nature and activities.

For me it's merely a question of the degree of outrage.

I'm less inclined to find the former very offensive. In a perfect world, every organization would be closely scrutinized so that the taxpayer subsidy isn't wasted. The fact that you were more likely to meet the same ultimate standards as everyone else is more important.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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Personally I think ALL non-profit organizations should be targeted for review so we know that they aren't some tax avoidance scam.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:44 PM   #15
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Personally I think ALL non-profit organizations should be targeted for review so we know that they aren't some tax avoidance scam.
Personally, I think that all non-profit organizations should be granted that status until the IRS proves that they are not actually non-profits. The difference between 'may issue' and 'shall issue'.
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